Monday, March 18, 2013

Taking The Cure!

When the body and soul are weary of the cold, the dark, the lack of green, but the calendar still says it is winter, there is only one cure for the blues! 

 Find a flower show and wander around in the hothouses for as long as your long-suffering spouse will allow.  

We found the local garden show this past weekend and it was such a tonic.... a balm for eyes too long deprived of green.  

There was something for everyone and although I have a mature garden and am not planning any renovations any time soon, it was fun to imagine creating a new garden.

This year the gardens were internationally flavored more luscious and inviting than the next!

Who wouldn't love a Tuscan Garden?

 With lots of vegetables and herbs, stone and statues, and warm Mediterranean colors, it was a delight!
Italy here I come!

How about a gloriously green Celtic Garden?   This one featured lots of gray stone and the myriad variety of green hues for which Ireland is known and plenty of red and white flowers to contrast beautifully with the green!

The English Cottage Garden was a riot of colors with all the traditional flowers we remember from grandmother's garden.

 The Asian Garden, serene and zen-like beckoned visitors to rest and contemplate the surroundings.  Although there were plenty of flowers blooming in this  garden, they were subdued and restful.  the whole effect brings to my mind a shady garden with quiet hidden paths and plenty of places to wander or linger.

The Middle Eastern Garden, guaranteed to warm , was peppered with all the hottest colors - blending the reds, oranges and yellows into a garden to conjure the hottest summer memories!

It was a joy to wander around these gardens and fritter away a cold afternoon!  I bought some seeds to start over the next few weeks.  I plan to start some tomatoes, basil and some annual flowers to attract the butterflies and hummingbirds. 

 Last but not least, we bought a flat of my favorite  pansies to be planted immediately.  They will brighten the landscape until they are joined by the crocuses and daffodils.  

 The perfect color for Easter too!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Marching in the Woods

  45 degrees and no rain!  No more excuses!  We took a four mile walk through the woods on Sunday and it was a perfect day for :

 hunting for spring green,

 taking photos of March,

holding hands, 

 noticing the sunsparkle on the lake

 watching shimmering shadows,

listening for the red-wing.

      March gets a bum rap but it is one of my favorite months! 

     With the anticipation of a child in the weeks before Christmas, I finally emerge from the warmth of my winter cocoon and go in search of spring. 

     It is a joyful journey because, no matter how bitter the winter, spring never fails to return!

     And she arrives, without fail, in March!


Thought for today:  March, I love you.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Haiku My Art - Glowing!

©Barbara Kaufmann 2013

       All winter I've been playing with my camera, taking it wherever I go.   I have been capturing 'ordinary' moments which, in reality, are exquisitely extraordinary!  My photography has become an artistic, spiritual practice.  It is at once contemplative and creative.

      My interest in poetry continues unabated and I discovered, quite by accident, that I can imprint my photos with small poems (like haiku.)

     I've been practicing and find it a relaxing way to pass a wintry day.  When one combines  a haiku with a piece of art work ( not necessarily a photo) in a way that enhances both the picture and the words, it is called a haiga.

     Voila!  A perfect new hobby for me.  Who says you can't teach an old girl new tricks?

      The more I read and study haiku, the more I realize the subtle skill required to execute an exceptional one and the more I am inspired to continue writing.

       Spring is everywhere if only we look for it.  I see it in the shadows that fall across the tile floor in the sun room.  I see it in how the sun plays with the house plants in the corner.  I see it in the morning light which creeps  upon the landscape a bit earlier each day.

       Oh yes, the temperature is still blustery and can chill the bones, but there is a softening, a lightening of the land.  The trees are starting to swell and their color is subtly different.  And this morning we woke to a late winter snow fall that will hide the signs of spring again, but only for a day or two!

      The birds, quiet all winter, intent upon survival, have begun the spring dance they perform every year.  They  cavort, jittering about , males chasing females.  The mating ritual has begun---weeks before the first bud has opened.

      When I make my morning rounds in the garden, I  notice that the daffodils are up several inches out of the ground and the crocuses are ready to pop any day now.
      There is joy in the quiet snowfall  of winter and joy in the anticipation of spring, warmth and color -glorious color -returning to my world.

      The photo above was taken a few days ago when the sun was streaming through the window, seeming to light the leaves of my scented geranium from within.  I could feel the sun on me too and its slow movement north was apparent from the changing slant of light.

   The photo is reproduced here without alteration (except the addition of the words)  The edges of the leaf are not variegated - that is the light seeming to glow right from the center of the plant!    The words are my attempt to capture the  fleeting feeling I had when I saw this glow on the leaves.

      It is all this and more that I want to write into a poem and snap into my camera.

      I am sharing my haiku with Rebecca and friends at Recuerda Mi Corazon where haiku reigns on Fridays!  Hop over to see who is sharing poetry and art today.


Monday, March 4, 2013

To the Moon and Back

   Much to our delight, we continue to have a weekly date with our favorite four-year old, Orange Sneakers.  Except for a week or two when he was not feeling up to par, we've been able to enjoy some winter adventures!

 Our little boy is getting bigger and has outgrown his flashy orange sneakers.  Now he wears cool black ones with just a dab of orange.

  He is changing right before our eyes in other ways too.  Physically he's more agile - able to scale the heights  at the playground without a second thought.  He rides a scooter, a tricycle and something called a scoot bike at speeds that test out ability to keep up with him!

  He came for a 'sleep-over' recently and spent much of the weekend constructing elaborate structures and inventing  imaginative stories to go with each creation.

Bunny wagon!  Just in time for a tea party.

   We went on an adventure to the local air and space museum where he became enthralled with the moon landing.  He was fascinated by the whole story of  the astronauts,  how the space crafts were built and  other details of space travel.   We saw a display that included  the Lunar Module, a video showing the landing and the suits used by the men who traveled to the moon.   The questions kept coming all afternoon!

Orange Sneakers has been very busy making friends this winter.    Our little man doesn't play by himself on the playground anymore! His new friend is Pink Sneakers!   

 Largely ignoring the adults who accompanied them, they went on an imaginary trip this past week..  They took off on a space trip to the moon (of course)  via the swings which launched them into space (with a bit of help from Pappa and Pink Sneakers' dad)  They brought the following items, all indispensable for a moon landing:  reindeers, hotdog soup, space suits for the reindeers , robots and a space 'vehicle' to drive on the moon.  

  They play all kinds of make-believe and although we are not included in the fantasy world any more, we like to eavesdrop.  Here they were making popcorn
in the sandbox - chocolate popcorn, of course!


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